Though it would be nice to be able to open a gym and have people come pouring in, that is not how it works! Unfortunately, you need to have a marketing plan in order to continue to bring in new customers (as well as keep your current ones informed).

Here are some top marketing tips for gyms.


Allow potential customers to visit and try out your gym.

People who visit a gym, work out a little, and use the facilities are more likely to join. However, one visit is not usually enough. Go above and beyond most gyms and let customers visit several times to decide if it is a right fit for them! Even better, offer a free month for signing up!

Make sure that you collect the names, emails, address, and phone number of those who want to try your gym.

Use this to start an email list. Email lists are important for marketing because they keep your gym in front of your customers’ minds. It can also let them know about any sales and specials that you may have. For those who were not interested in signing up right away, a sale might just be a way to get them in your doors.

Ask for referrals (and reward your customers).

Word of mouth advertising is very powerful. People who know that you have satisfied customers are much more likely to try and sign up for your gym. Reward your customers for each referral. You can offer a free personal training session, free week, free month, or even a gift card to show your appreciation, as well as make them more likely to refer others!

Get a professionally developed website.

More and more people are online, especially with the invention of cell phones. For this reason, you need to have a website that catches their attention. There are studies that show your website has just a few seconds before they either look further or they click to find another one. Because of this, you need to get your website done professionally. Not only will they be able to design the perfect website that does what you want it to, they will be able to do it much faster than you can.

Connect to customers (and potential ones) on social media.

Just like a good website is necessary, social media marketing is something you need to do. You need to be on at least one or two social media sites. Facebook is one of the best, though you may want to join YouTube where you can make videos to promote your gym, show off your classes, and even give fitness tips. Twitter, Instagram, and even Pinterest are also popular social media sites that you may want to try.

If social media marketing is overwhelming, don’t be afraid to hire help.

Not only can it be time-consuming, if you don’t really know what you are doing with social media marketing, you may just be wasting your time (and money)! Hiring someone to help you will be worth it when you see the results that a professional can get you.

Have monthly (or as often as you can) fitness challenges, complete with prizes.

Gyms that offer challenges can really increase membership (or at least participation). By having a 5K, 10K, dance-off, and other fitness challenges can really give a boost to your gym. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the challenges that you can offer.

Marketing is necessary in order to be successful. However, not all of it costs money. A good referral program can really help you grow your gym. You also need to be mobile, with an eye-catching website and social media profiles. Don’t be afraid to hire help so that your money and efforts get the desired effects.  

Contact us for help to start your own fitness business!

David Michael Gilbertson is the founder and president of 3 Elements Lifestyle, LLC., a Fitness and Weight Loss company that specializes in YOU!. With more than 15 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, David lectures, delivers seminars and gives workshops on the practical skills required to successfully help you with your health and fitness goals. David also helps you build the teamwork, management, and training necessary to open your own fitness center. For more information on Licensing and Consulting Services Visit his Web site at or email at or call 805.499.3030

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